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2: Communicating An Argument
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- 2.1: Our Communication “Frames” Our Arguments
- 2.2: Defining Communication
- 2.3: The Communication Model
- 2.4: Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
- 2.5: The Influence of the Structure of Language
- 2.6: Using Words in an Argument
- Language is fundamental to critical thinking. Language can determine how productive our argumentation will be. Using the wrong word to the wrong audience is almost a sure way to have our arguments rejected by that audience.
- 2.7: Creating Mutual Understanding
- Disagreeing over what a word means can lead to a total breakdown of the argumentative process. The critical thinker can use any of the following ways to define any terms that could lead to a communication misunderstanding and, in turn, a collapse of the argumentative process.
- 2.8: Ambiguity
- When we argue, we use language that we assume the recipients can understand. We select words with limited ambiguity. Arguers selecting ambiguous language run the risk of being misunderstood and face rejection of their advocated point of view. What do we mean when we call language ambiguous?
- 2.9: Euphemisms
- A euphemism is a less direct term, used in the place of a more specific term, which may be considered offensive to the audience. When used in this way, euphemisms tend to “sanitize” or cleanup one’s language. The reason for using a euphemism is to soften the impact of a word to make it more audience-acceptable. The problem is that “more acceptable” means that the word used in place of the one that would have been used, is often less precise.
- 2.10: Double Speak
- Such language described by Orwell is called doublespeak. It is explained by William Lutz, author of the book “Doublespeak”, as language which “makes the bad seem good, the negative appear positive, the unpleasant appear attractive or at least tolerable. It is language that conceals or prevents thought.”
- 2.11: Impact of Language on Argumentation
- 2.12: One Last Thought On Language
- 2.13: Your Communication Style
- 2.14: The Focus of This Chapter